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Related to Equitable estoppel: Promissory estoppel

Agency by Estoppel

A situation in which a reasonable person may assume agency agreement exists when it does not. For example, if a person or company allows another person or company to use proprietary letterhead to send out correspondence, agency by estoppel may exist. Because the agency is assumed, the (presumed) principal may be legally bound by the agent's actions.


A doctrine that stops one from denying facts or taking a course of action because it would be unfair under the circumstances.It may be because someone else relied on former statements regarding the facts or because someone else relied upon a situation allowed to exist by a party, so that the party cannot now be allowed to change that situation.The concept commonly arises in three situations:

1. Before the sale of an income-producing property, the tenants sign estoppel certificates acknowledging they have no claims against the landlord, no defenses to any of the terms or conditions of their lease, and no outside or “side” agreements varying the terms of the lease. After the sale, the tenant cannot claim otherwise, even if all parties agree that there has been a wrong done to the tenant by the prior landlord and the tenant would otherwise be able to cancel the lease if it were not for the estoppel certificate.

2. A subdivision with restrictive covenants grows lax in the enforcement of them and per- mits many violations over the years regarding, for example, parking boats and motor homes in driveways. If one buys a home in the subdivision and keeps a motor home in the driveway, the principle of estoppel will prevent the homeowners association from suddenly deciding to enforce that particular covenant.

3. A government employee tells someone one thing, and it later turns out to be wrong. The citizen has already taken action on the incorrect information. In most circumstances, courts will not allow estoppel against a government or government agency.

References in periodicals archive ?
Equitable estoppel based upon fraudulent concealment assumes that the plaintiff has discovered, or should have discovered, his injury.
151) Equitable estoppel is essentially the merger of promissory estoppel, conventional estoppel, and proprietary estoppel into one coherent doctrine that allows estoppel to be used as a cause of action but that limits recovery for reliance, as opposed to expectation, losses.
Another aspect of equitable estoppel that has received some criticism is the doctrine of "concerted misconduct" estoppel.
Some of the cases decided before the promulgation of [section] 90 invoked the doctrine of equitable estoppel to hold the promisor liable for what would now be called promissory estoppel.
Therefore, the plaintiff's primary obligation rests upon a dual foundation of an implied contract to support the child and equitable estoppel.
The court also said that fraud and misrepresentation, often used as defenses to the doctrine of equitable estoppel, did not apply.
In addition, the doctrine of equitable estoppel may be more leniently applied in permit and zoning matters.
On March 7 and 8, 2005, the judge held hearings to consider the Company's motions for a new trial, a judgment notwithstanding the verdict and equitable estoppel.
Whether on these facts plaintiff may be entitled to substantial money damages on a theory of equitable estoppel or confiscatory taking, however, is irrelevant to plaintiff's equal protection claim.
Chapter 5 Waiver, Equitable Estoppel, and Detrimental Reliance in Insurance Contracts
The appeals court remanded the case back to trial on the doctrine of equitable estoppel.
136) Even once a plaintiff becomes aware of the danger of fraud, a defendant might trick her into delaying suit, a concern addressed by doctrines of equitable estoppel.